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Chair Dr Yeow Poon reporting back

December 2, 2020 1:55 AM

CLD supports Black Lives MatterCLDs held our Annual General Meeting on 22 November 2020. This has not been an easy year for the Party and the country said our Chair, Dr Yeow Poon. This was due in part to the uncertainty of Brexit and the devastating impact of Covid 19. There has been a rise in reported cases of hate crime and racism against those of Chinese, East and SE Asian (CESEA) descent and many businesses in Chinatown have also been adversely affected.

Some members from CLDs were involved in the setting up of CARG (Covid19 Anti Racism Group) in tackling the portrayal of CESEA people in the media and in organising information seminars on hate crime reporting in conjunction with the police authorities. We supported the Black Lives Matter movement which started in the US and caught on in the UK. Our members have also written about the lack of teaching of colonial history in schools and highlighted problems with nutrition in children due to poverty and resulting from Covid 19.

Turning to international issues such as developments in Hong Kong and the introduction of the new national security law, CLD executive members spoke at the Autumn Conference motion on Hong Kong proposed by Alistair Carmichael, which passed with little objection. Nevertheless caveats were raised around the tone of the motion and lack of historical context. More broadly, we are concerned that the debates around China's rise and global impact are causing a rise in Sinophobia, which feeds into racism against Chinese, East and Southeast Asian people. As a party, we need to develop a coherent and nuanced policy on China.

What should be CLD priorities for 2021? Polling statistics show that only 10% of those polled say that LibDems share their views and the current support for the Party is lingering at around 5% only. We therefore need to focus on understanding the issues that matter to CESEA voters in the UK, and to work with our Patron, Ed Davey to help improve our future electoral chances and outreach to the CESEA diaspora communities.

The executive team elected at the AGM held on 22 November included:
Chair - Dr Yeow Poon
Vice Chair - Cllr Sarah Cheung Johnson
Secretary - Cllr Marguerita Morton
Treasurer - Merlene Emerson
Membership Officer - post vacant
Ordinary members of Executive:
Linda Chung, Yeing Lang Crouch, Cllr Yukteshwar Kumar, Paul Reynolds, Gary Wong (2 vacancies)

Finally the Chair thanked Roger Crouch our Returning Officer and all the members of the executive who had served this year especially Sarah, his Vice-Chair who had co-ordinated the zoom meetings and Gary who was stepping down from the Membership post.

[CLD welcomes interest from the membership to join us by way of co-option for next year especially those from the CESEA communities - please contact info@chineselibdems.org.uk].